FOR SALE: Princess Starter Home

The most famous piece of East Falls real estate just went up for grabs. CurbedPhilly offers a peek inside, while we share a season’s worth of photos, plus some Grace Kelly trivia. 

EastFallsLocal Grace Kelly House sign drama FIX txt

OMG! Princess Grace’s childhood home is for sale again — the first time was back in 2013, after the SPCA investigated the home’s 81-year-old owner for cat hoarding. Now it’s been cleaned up, staged with antiques, and ready to go for just one million dollars.

EastFallsLocal curbed philly collage grace kelly house

The three-story brick colonial faces Henry Avenue, with a side on Coulter Street towards McMichael Park — a 4,000 square foot home on a lot just a little over 2/3rds of an acre. 6 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, a finished basement and detached garage.

And, I imagine, a hint of Kelly in every room…

At least, you’ll find the heights of the Kelly children (Grace included) still etched into an upstairs linen closet door. And certainly, in the parlor, there must be some sparkle left from when Prince Ranier proposed to her here back in 1956.  (Henry Ave house at 01:48 & 04:13.)

EastFallsLocal 5-4 Kelly House sun flarel MAY

FUN FACT: According to a recently posted History of McMichael Park, Grace’s father, Jack Kelly, tried to create active recreational facilities in the park in 1946, but his plans were strongly rebuffed by the community. (Sound familiar?) Back then, the park was seen as an important buffer between the estates along the Wissahickon and the working-class neighborhoods near our mills.

In the 1920’s, his company (popularized by the slogan “Kelly for Brickwork”) created the some of the first “middle class” housing in this part of East Falls: single-family homes on spacious lots.

EastFallsLocal 3-24 grace kelly house flowers mcmichael 3 MARChk

ANOTHER FUN FACT:  Grace learned to drive in that circular driveway out front — taught by beloved family chauffeur Godfrey Ford, aka “Fordie” who recalled once in an interview that although she took direction well,  “she was never very good at parking.”

CurbedPhilly’s slideshow provides 15 quite stately photos — the place looks like it hasn’t been touched since it was purchased from the Kellys in 1973 — who likely hadn’t decorated it since the kids were young. What an incredible time capsule!  Especially for a Grace Kelly fan.

Speaking of — a recent biographical movie puts much emphasis on Grace’s time in Philadelphia, for shaping the strong woman she was to become.  “Beyond Grace Kelly,” was filmed in 2013, and is finally hitting US theaters this September 14th. (apparently, Grimaldi family edits held up State-side release), Tag line: “Re-discovering Grace Kelly from her Philadelphia Home.” 

To think — for the right price, you could preview the film from the Kelly’s own living room!

EastFallsLocal 10-29 mcmichael park fall foliage Grace Kelly House from side 5 framed wider 2 px focus OCT

For more information, contact the listing agent, Patricia Gernard (Re/Max, Plymouth Meeting).  

Memories of Grace Kelly in East Falls? Please share your stories in the comments below, or email us for a proper interview. Thanks! 

EastFallsLocal grace kelly collage HEAD HAND

PS: Up close ‘n personal with Grace Kelly’s wedding gown (reproduction), in a fascinating PhillyU exhibit from June 2016, featuring historical gowns from local brides of earlier generations.

 

 

2 Comments

  • Brian Donovan

    Great post! Love Grace Kelly’s work, especially the Hitchcock titles. Unfortunately I heard the recent movie is an awful mess. Booed out of festivals and then I think basic cable (maybe Lifetime?) showed it. Seems like they’re just re-titling it for theater release? Maybe took another shot at editing it?

    Anyway, the house looks awesome as always, thanks for the info.

    • Mike Daigeaun

      The movie did air on Lifetime. Apparently, it is being redone to reflect the original screenplay and is getting referred to as the ‘Writer’s Cut’

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *